A work-related injury or illness may make you eligible to receive benefits from one or more government or private program. Options for making up lost wages, covering medical bills and receiving compensation for the infliction of harm are summarized very briefly below. While each program enforces different rules for qualifying for payments, they all require the submission of extensive paperwork, medical records, and multiple kinds of evidence that show financial need and disability.

You can learn more about what types of benefits you might receive by speaking with a Cleveland, Ohio, disability lawyer at Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman. Call (800) 678-3318 or fill out this contact form to schedule a free consultation.

Ohio Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ comp covers most employees in Ohio. The basic qualifications are

  • The injury or illness must happen while doing work or being engaged in work-related activities.
  • The injury or illness must result in death, result in the loss of a body part or physical function, or make returning to work impossible for a significant amount of time.
  • The employer must pay into the Ohio Workers’ Compensation program.

Payments from workers’ comp are generally capped at two-thirds of the recipient’s monthly wages, but one-time payouts are available for major injuries like amputations and loss of vision. Awards of benefits to living recipients usually come with requirements to participate in therapy and rehabilitation programs and to undergo regular reassessments of the ability to return to work.

Social Security Disability Insurance

SSDI is theoretically available to anyone too disabled or ill to work who has paid into the Social Security system, usually through paycheck withholdings. Qualifying requires being completely disabled or likely to die within 12 months. Extreme financial need may also qualify for Supplemental Security Income.

Working with a disability lawyers in Cleveland, OH, while applying for SSDI and SSI is recommended because even small errors in paperwork can lead to denials for technical reasons.

Short- and Long-Term Insurance

Relying on your own insurance may be possible when you need ongoing health care and some degree of income replacement. Planning ahead, especially for long-term care, is essential for anyone who wants to have this option for short- or long-term disability benefits. Insurance company’s offer many types of policies, and speaking with a disability lawyer about the various provisions could help align coverage with likely needs.

Public Employee Options

State and local government workers in Ohio, including public school teachers and public higher education faculty, do not pay into Social Security from their paychecks and may not be eligible for workers’ compensation. Such employees may need to apply to their retirement systems when they get hurt or fall ill on the job. Programs like the Public Employees Retirement System and the State Teachers Retirement System are not merely pension plans. They also provide disability benefits to participants who qualify. One challenge with accessing such benefits is that holding jobs outside the public sector can make Social Security a first option, even if much more time was spent in a school or agency.